The mind of Leonardo. Leonardo's drawings from the Codex Atlanticus in Milan

The mind of Leonardo. Leonardo's drawings from the Codex Atlanticus in Milan


Until October 31, Milan hosts the exhibition The mind of Leonardo.Leonardo's drawings from the Codex Atlanticus, staged at the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana and the Bramante Sacristy in the convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie. An event that focuses on the personality of Leonardo, the richness of the themes he touched, the variety of his fields of interest and study and his particular art during the Italian Renaissance.

The exhibition offers a core of 88 sheets - exposed in two cycles, three months each - that illustrate some of the main themes of art, technology and science, in which Leonardo was interested throughout his career, divided into sections: Hydraulic studies, Literary exercises, Architecture and stage design, Mechanics and machinery, Optics and perspective, Mechanic flight, Geometry and mathematics, studies on Earth and the Cosmos and Painting and Sculpture.

In particular the section "Devices and inventions" examines one of the most spectacular areas of investigation explored by Leonardo: the human flight, represented on this occasion by four studies in which the flying machine is associated with the study of flapping wings.

Of particular interest is also the analysis of the architectural theme. On display you can indeed admire a view of cruciform church that reminds the apse of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, drawings for octagonal buildings, the study for the Tiburio of Cathedral in Milan, the drawings for an underground tunnel, for a fortress with semi-stellar plan and a drawbridge.

The exhibition also gathers a series of drawings in which Leonardo enunciates a very important principle, concerning the laws which regulate the life of the human "machine" and the very existence of the earth, understood as a living giant with veins, arteries, bones, lungs, vital organs.

The discovery of the artistic genius of Leonardo continues with the exposure of the "Musician" and "Portrait of a Lady". At the Pinacoteca, with its 24 rooms, visitors can furthermore embark on a sweeping journey into the world of art starting from the Renaissance masterpieces including works by Botticelli, Titian and Bramantino, but also Raphael, Caravaggio and the copy of the Last Supper commissioned in 1619 to Vespino in order to preserve the authentic image of Leonardo's masterpiece.

The exhibition, conceived and developed in conjunction with Expo 2015, closes the exhibition series started in 2009, on the occasion of the fourth centenary of the opening to the public of the Ambrosiana, with the aim to offer visitors the opportunity to admire the whole Codex Atlanticus.

The Codex Atlanticus is the largest and most amazing known collection of Leonardo's sheet, a huge volume set at the end of '500 by the sculptor Pompeo Leoni, who picked up a series of writings and drawings by da Vinci consisting of about 1,750 units, which embraced the entire intellectual life of Leonardo for a period of over forty years. In 1622 it was bought for 300 shields by the Milanese nobleman Galeazzo Arconati that, in turn, donated it, along with 11 other manuscripts of Leonardo, to the Biblioteca Ambrosiana, where it has since remained. Now it is the first time in history that the famous sheets of the Codex Atlanticus by Leonardo da Vinci are shown to the general public in the ancient Reading Room of the Biblioteca Ambrosiana, inserted for the occasion in the exhibition of the Pinacoteca.